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58 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Please welcome our newest columnist, John Talbot. John is president of Tramonto Circuits, a manufacturer of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits. Design for manufacture (DFM) has been a common topic for circuit designers for a long time. Before manufacturers started publishing their capabilities on websites, a trip would be scheduled to the supplier so that designers could talk with the operators at each fabrication station and the produc- tion engineers to better understand their sup- plier's capabilities and limitations. That, it was surmised, would make designs better from the customer and save time during the review process. The customer would learn their suppliers' limitations on things like minimum plated hole sizes, minimum annular ring, minimum line width/space, and more. On the surface, this seems like a very valuable thing to do. It improved the com- munication between customer and supplier and theoretically improved the quality of the cir- cuits and design cycle time as well. However, it was the cus- tomer who always compromised! Of course, the circuit must be manufacturable. But is it best for the customer to compromise the design to meet their supplier's limitations? Remember, the customer will assemble and insert these circuits into their coolest new products with the intent of selling thousands or millions of them. With that fact in mind, it would make more sense for the supplier to compromise to meet the application's requirements to give it the best chance of success. That, of course, is difficult for a circuit manufacturer. It is far easier for a circuit manufacturer to adhere to a strict set of capabilities and design limitations so that their factory runs Design for Manufacture or Design for Application? Consider This by John Talbot, TRAMONTO CIRCUITS

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